Canadian banks are beefing up efforts to attract newcomers by offering such incentives as multilingual service and lower fees.
Immigrants are one of the fastest growing demographics in Canada, while population growth within the country is relatively stagnant. Some projections estimate that by 2036, over 70 percent of population growth will be from immigration alone. Increasingly, Canada’s largest financial institution are recognizing and attempting to tap into this potential market.
“It’s really somewhat of a clear-cut business case,” says Royal Bank’s director of multicultural markets Paul Sy. “The forecasts are quite clear that Canada is an aging population. Moving forward, newcomers are really the key source of growth and will be fuelling the … growth of the Canadian economy for years to come.”
One of the newest strategies to attract newcomers is to offer unsecured credit cards, which allows those with little or no credit history in Canada to obtain credit cards with higher limits. Some advocates warn that this could potentially do more harm than good if newcomers are not familiar with credit systems and run up their debt without being able to pay.
Still, say financial experts, most newcomers are highly educated people who would make desirable clients at these institutions. Most are motivated to succeed, and likely to be loyal to companies which give them a chance to do just that. The fact that banks are now sending recruitment specialists abroad to further tap into this market shows just how valuable these newcomers are.
Source: Globe and Mail
Language programs across Saskatchewan are expanding to meet increased demand after recent influxes of immigrants to the region.
Programs such as the language centre at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) are expanding their services to accommodate high numbers of newcomers to the quickly growing region. This particular centre will serve not only to aid newcomers in language learning, but also as a testing centre, as English proficiency exams grow increasingly important in the immigration process.
Over the past several years, the Saskatchewan economy has been propelling growth in the region, attracting record numbers of newcomers. Since 2007, the Western prairie province has welcomed nearly 50,000 newcomers. Experts predict continued growth in the coming years, with a projected 60,000 increase in the workforce by 2020.
“In order to achieve these goals it’s going to mean attracting and retaining new immigrants to Saskatchewan, and that means as a province we need to help and provide opportunities to everyone that’s coming here,” said Advanced Education deputy minister Louise Greenberg. “We’ve endeavoured to create programming that helps the newcomers socially and economically integrate into our fabric of Saskatchewan.”
In order to help with this integration process, the language centre at SIAST will undergo $100,000 in renovations. The new services are aimed at keeping newcomers in the province, so that they do not need to travel or relocate to find the help they need.
Source: Regina Leader-Post